Dear Ms. Kallos,
Reading books has always been something I have considered a hobby. Only a few books have made me actually stop and think about my life, instead of just entertaining my mind for a few hours. Broken For You was different. The characters as well as the situations, seemed so real. Both Margret and Wanda contain aspects within their personality that reflect who I am.
Relating to Margret was a bit difficult. She is such a remarkable person: so deep, caring, and motherly. Being a child with a complicated relationship with her parents, and having two children of her own, Margret was mostly a mystery to me. When Margret found out, though, that she only had limited time to live, she took some risky chances. This, in fact, was how I connected with Margret.
At a young age I experienced the death of two classmates; one was a complete accident, and the other a suicide. The accident took my life entirely off guard. It was then that I, myself, decided to take some risky, life-changing chances. Margret's tumor taught Margret the unexpected, "live as if you will die tomorrow" lesson, the same way the accident taught me to live as if tomorrow is never promised. It has been four years since that accident, and over time lessons fade away and get lost in the struggle of just trying to make it through each day in one piece. Broken For You and Margret' s brain tumor was a "slap in the face" kind of reminder of the lesson I learned so long ago and the lesson I so naively let slip away.
The suicide of a dear friend within that same year, taught me the value of friendship. The way Margret let boarders into her home reminded me of the value I have for the people that have come in and out of my life. The way Margret learns to love Wanda, Gus, Susan, Bruce, and Troy as family reminded me of the way I began to hold onto relationships between people that have come in and out of my life, as well, after the suicide.
Along with holding those relationships so closely to my heart, I developed a habit of never letting anyone go. Unlike Margret I never felt dearly attached to any personal belongings, but like Wanda, I was "broken for" all of those relationships I did fail to hold onto. In the same way as Wanda, I thought everyone was better off without me. For a long time I never let anyone into my life because I felt it would ruin them or they would just hurt me by leaving. I did not talk much and spent a lot of time alone. I was broken, shattered into a thousand small pieces, like the porcelain, from all those that I had loved and lost, and those relationships that I longed to have.
I eventually found my way and opened my heart back up again and accept that people are meant to come and go. I feel I connected with Wanda when her heart melted into her dad's embrace and she learned again not to let life pass by. Life is indeed too short to dwell on the negative.
A line that hit me hardest was when Wanda was in the process of realizing how to go on with her life, "Be true to what attracts you had become her motto. Keep it near. Its voice may be far away and faint, unformed and obfuscated, but that's no reason to shutter in it's darkness." Wanda comes to accept that life has challenges, but one must find who they are and let it stay in its true colors, because even though things might seem out of reach and dark, life is worth living, the good times always make up for the bad. Like Wanda, this is something I had to learn, even if sometimes I feel it was a lessoned learned too young.
Thank you. Thank you Stephanie Kallos for making me feel like I am not alone, that people in the world go through difficult situations that force them to make harsh realizations every day. Your book was a much needed reminder for the things that are supposed to be important in life that I might have let slide by.